Yes, I know it’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted but a few things happened recently.
The first, back in December, I randomly got an email from someone who had just finished all 3 books in the Wheeler series. They loved them and asked if I was going to write Book 4. That got the wheels spinning.
Yes, I’m writing Book 4. There’s no title yet but I’ve got the Racing Road Map set with which races Loren Mackenzie and the gang at Innovative Design Cycling will be competing (hint: 2017 late Spring Classics) and an idea of what hurdles Loren has to bunny hop over.
Second, I needed some kind of goal for cycling. Racing on Zwift is great and all but I needed something to get me outside. So… I entered an individual Time Trial. I’ve always wanted to do one but here in the US they are not as popular as they are in the UK. I found one in Church Creek Maryland on April 29th. Eek!
Third, I finally got a professional bike fitting.
I’m no stranger to bike fitting. I had been doing it in practically every indoor cycling class I taught for 13 years. For everybody else. What I couldn’t do was fit myself.
I’ve spent a lot of time reading, researching, watching videos and taking courses on proper fit, then tinkering with just about everything I could on my two bikes (and my shoes!) to no avail. I deal with discomfort outside well enough but after upping my mileage riding indoors last fall, I was at my wits end. Leg soreness, loss of power, numbness and pain, and the evil saddle sores multiplied.
I started looking for a pro fit, someone local as I didn’t want to schlep off to Philly or Doylestown. Thankfully the lords of Google sent me to Gresh Fit in West Chester, PA.
After reviewing the site info and learning more about pro fitter, Tim Gresh, I had a good feeling. He’s a disciple if you will of the legend, Steve Hogg, and follows Hogg’s direct observation approach and doesn’t rely on fancy motion capture/computer programs. I filled out the requested form with what I was looking to have done and what my issues were, and we set an appointment.
Tim is extremely knowledgeable and friendly. Our conversation flowed from how and why I ride, where (mostly indoors these days) and what my goals were. Then we got down to business. After watching me ride on RGT for a bit, just spinning and under load, Tim suggested first switching out the cranks on my Trek Lexa SLX. I was riding on the standard 170mm cranks that came with the bike, and it never occurred to me (or was even suggested in any of the other “pro” fittings I’ve had over the years) to change the stock cranks. He switched them out right quick to 160mm and immediately my right hip was less tight, my left quad was working better and my power output got a little increase.
Tim then suggested switching out the saddle. Mind you, I’ve spent a small fortune on saddles over the years. Between the overly padded ones at the gym to the stock saddles on both my Lexa and Domane, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot. Man, I was wrong. After trying out several from the SMP line, we settled on the Lite 209. The slope of the saddle took some getting used to but I swear, I never thought I would ride without pain. The saddle isn’t cheap either, but less than the Cobb I was thinking of buying.
Of course I didn’t follow Tim’s instructions about taking time to settle into the new fit and raced the next night (it was Zwift Racing League – I had to!). Since then, my power output has only improved. I’m finally comfortable on my bike … on the trainer. Next up, get my Trek Domane ready for the outdoor season!
If you’re in the West Chester, PA area and looking for a professional bike fitting, I would highly suggest giving Tim at Gresh Fit a call.